Urge the Senate to Stop Delaying VAWA – Domestic Violence Is on the Rise 


THE ISSUE:  The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA or H.R. 1620) is urgently needed legislation that protects abuse survivors and allocates funding for survivor support services. Reauthorization of VAWA is now three years overdue – owing to Republican senators who would rather see VAWA expire.  We’ve had it with their neglect of battered, raped and murdered women.  

WHY IT MATTERS:  VAWA saves lives by strengthening the health care system’s response to domestic abuse, improving access to resources like housing for survivors, and expanding assistance to LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities of color. In the U.S. and around the world, incidents of domestic violence have risen dramatically during the pandemic. 

The National Coalition of Violence against Women (NCADV) reports that; 

  • 261 domestic violence fatalities have occurred thus far in 2021 
  • 10 million people are physically abused by an intimate partner  
  • 20,000 calls are placed per day to domestic violence hotlines   
  • 20 percent of women in the U.S. have been raped  

A study by the Violence Policy Center, based on 2018 data found that 2,000 women were murdered by men; nine of ten victims were killed by men they knew and the most common weapon used was a gun. Black women are disproportionately impacted by lethal domestic violence.  

NOW decries that violence against women is perpetrated by a culture that tacitly tolerates misogyny, often connected with White Supremacy views — which the Trump Administration consistently encouraged. There is also a harmful gender bias in law enforcement and judicial systems, leading to inadequate investigations and prosecution in violent crimes against women, especially women of color. We must address these deeply seated structural problems.

THE STATUS: In 2019, the House of Representatives passed VAWA, which then stalled in the Senate where it was blocked by Republican Senate leadership. On March 8, a group of bipartisan lawmakers including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) reintroduced VAWA with vital enhancements addressing the needs of survivors in underserved communities and communities of color. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1620 with a vote of 244-172 on Wednesday, March 17. Now, VAWA is headed to the Senate. We cannot have a repeat of 2019-2020 and let Republicans drag their feet only to promote a watered-down version of the bill, which will put women at risk. VAWA saves lives and it is one of the most critically important bills the Senate will consider. 


WHAT CAN I DO? Make sure this critical bill gets much needed bi-partisan support by contacting your Senator, voicing your support of VAWA, and urging them to ensure its passage. Contacting Republican Senators to urge support is particularly important. 

HOW DO I DO IT? Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and be connected to your Senator’s office. Here is also a directory of current Senators, where you can find their websites and ways to contact them online. If you can call during the time when senators are home in your state, you can contact one of their several in-state offices. Just check their Senate websites to find contact information. 

WHAT DO I SAY?  “I am calling to urge Senator [NAME] to vote in favor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and show their support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This is a critical step needed to allow the rights, safety, and protection of women to be supported by the letter of the law for ALL constituents of [STATE].” 


Contacting your representatives is just a start. Help us keep the conversation going by spreading the word on social media and urging others to take action. You can find their Twitter handles here and below are some sample social media posts you can use: 

  • Republican senators have failed to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act now for three years. Women are being beaten and murdered while Senators drag their feet. Call your senators now and urge the immediate passage of the H.R. 1620 – pass #VAWANOW! 
  • The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act is awaiting action in the Senate! We cannot let the filibuster stand in the way of protecting survivors, yet again! Call your senators and urge passage of #VAWA21 #VAWA4ALL 
  • With states stripping away gun control, #VAWA21’s passage is critical. We must close the boyfriend loophole and prevent firearm homicides. Urge your senator to pass #VAWA NOW! 

Twitter Graphic: 

Facebook/Instagram Graphic: